Prepping for Australia

In one month, my daughter and I are flying to Melbourne, Australia, where I’m joining Ambelin Kwaymullina, Sharon Mosely, and Danny Oz as guests of honor at Continuum.

To say I’m excited would be an understatement. The Continuum folks I’ve talked to so far have been great, the convention looks like a lot of fun, and on top of that, it’s my first time to Australia. I’ve been looking forward to this trip all year, and will be taking a little extra time after the convention to look around a bit.

Now, I consider myself a well-educated person, but I have to admit that my knowledge of Australia is a little limited. Here’s what I do know:

  • Everything is poisonous.
  • Drop bears.

So I throw myself on the mercy of the internet. Help me, hive mind.

  • What must I make sure to bring along?
  • What kind of electrical conversion doohickey do I need to make sure Australia’s power grid (which I’m assuming is poisonous) doesn’t kill my stuff?
  • What’s the best way to test for Iocaine Powder?
  • Do I have to check my shoes for koalas every morning?
  • What if I can’t find the “Australia” setting on my camera?
  • How nasty are the foreign transaction fees on the credit card likely to be?
  • Any tips for jet lag? (Right now, my plan is to try to stay up until bedtime on the first day to see if I can force my body into the new schedule. Either that, or just spend the whole time hallucinating.)
  • Will customs let me bring Hugh Jackman home as a gift for my wife?
  • Do wombats really poop in cubes? (Follow-up: Is cube-shaped poop poisonous?)

And what else should I know that I’m forgetting to ask about?